How to Remove Lacquer Overspray

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A certain amount of lacquer overspray is unavoidable, and even the most experienced woodworkers deal with it on occasion. Lacquer overspray occurs when the spray gun is inadvertently sprayed into the air over a lacquered surface. The airborne lacquer atomizes and the fine particles harden and settle on the freshly lacquered surface creating a sandy, gritty feel to the lacquer. You can remove it with a simple trick used by woodworkers everywhere.

Fold a piece of sandpaper lengthwise with the grit on the inside of the fold.

Hold the sandpaper in the palm of your hand with the smooth paper side facing out.

Rub over the dry overspray with the paper side of the sandpaper only. Run lightly in circles to remove the sandy, gritty feel on the lacquer.

Rub your bare palm over the surface of the lacquer. If you feel any more rough areas, continue rubbing them off with the paper side of the sandpaper.


  • You can't always see overspray. Check for overspray by first waiting for the lacquer to dry and then rubbing your palms lightly over the lacquer to feel the overspray.


  • To avoid overspray, always keep the spray gun pointed down. Always wear breathing protection when working with finishing products.

About the Author

Specializing in hardwood furniture, trim carpentry, cabinets, home improvement and architectural millwork, Wade Shaddy has worked in homebuilding since 1972. Shaddy has also worked as a newspaper reporter and writer, and as a contributing writer for Bicycling Magazine. Shaddy began publishing in various magazines in 1992, and published a novel, “Dark Canyon,” in 2008.

Photo Credits

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